Time and again, we hear about people stepping forward to honor our veterans as a way to say “thank you” for their sacrifice. It may be something as simple as a hand shake or buying the service member a cup of coffee, all the way up to donating time and effort to build a disabled veteran in need a home that they can call their own and beyond. The results aren’t as important as the intensions which is to express gratitude for the service member’s sacrifice. So when another veteran goes out of their way for their fellow brothers and sisters in arms, you know the intensions are coming from a great place.
Larry Sostak, a former Marine, is cleaning the graves at Highland Cemetery in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He is doing this under the supervision of both the Department of Public Services and the Office of Veterans Affairs and he’s made quite a difference in the cemetery, especially for his fellow veterans.
Sostak, 62, served in the Marines from 1973 to 1975 and worked out of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and he knows that when the time comes, he’ll be laid to rest in the military portion of the cemetery.
The idea came up after his many walks past the cemetery. He noticed the graves seemed to be pretty dirty and in need of maintenance. After speaking with Kevin Hunt, who operates the municipal office serving veterans in the area, he received the go-ahead for the cleaning of the graves. So Sostak goes out with a cleaning solution, a bucket and a brush and works at removing the fungus from the headstones.
It’s hard work, and Sostak goes unpaid for this service, and he doesn’t care. “‘I get a lot of satisfaction from doing this because the gravestones look bright and clean after I am finished (Veteran, Hendrickson).'”
A veteran honoring veterans and his community. Not much else needs to be said.
For the full article by Dyke Hendrickson of The Daily News of Newburyport, click here.